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Saving Me

In 2007, I had major surgery for cancer and no longer had the strength or endurance to keep my 90Lb+ Rott/Australian Shepherd, Cody,(an SPCA-save), active enough to keep him healthy. So I went back to the SPCA in Dallas again with a 'check-list': Female; heavy enough to be able to withstand Cody's 'assaults'; naturally hyper enough to give him a workout. The SPCA has pens out in back that enable the humans to see if the animals will 'fit'. The first two did not mix well at all. However, Chrissie, a 35Lb Border Collie-mix picked up off of the streets of Dallas, absolutely fit the bill. The 1st day at her new home was no problem, as she got familiar with each room of her new home and then proceeded to wear Cody's hind-end off! She had him kneeling as she proceeded to show him how smaller dogs 'fight/play' by nipping his ankles.

Today, two years later, they are still best of friends and continue to work each other over in their own rough-and-tumble play style.

Thanks SPCA for giving me time to recuperate and be able to share my "puppies".

Ray Oldham
Irving, TX

Fleetwood & Mac

My husband found a litter of kittens and their mother in a dirty crawl space by his work. He was able to get all of them out save and dropped them off at the Monmouth County SPCA to make sure they where healthy and would find a good home. We decided to keep the first kitten he pulled out and went to the shelter to pick the little guy up. As soon as we walked through our door he wanted to be with Fleetwood, our Golden Retriever. We just had to name him Mac. He loves Fleetwood so much and we always find them sharing the same bed and even the dog food! Since than we adopted another cat that followed Mackie home one night. We think we might have to buy a bigger dog bed to fit both cats and the dog.

Sylvia Miller
Port Monmouth, NJ


Frank (his nickname) and his three siblings were found in a pile of cement blocks next to a garage; their eyes barely open, no mother cat appeared. After calling my vet to ask how to care for them, I put them in a big cookie tin and drove them home. They were bottle fed every two hours until they could eat from a dish. At first, they were weighed every day to make sure they were gaining weight. We also had to wipe them off as there was no mother cat to lick them clean. That was almost five years ago.

Frank broke his leg when he was five months old. The vet put it in a splint, as the option of putting a steel rod in his leg was not financially feasible. I asked our priest if I could bring him to the weekly healing service at our church. The answer was yes. I carried him on my chest him a baby sling. His splinted leg projected awkwardly from an opening. At the altar, Father N. laid his hands on Frank's head and we prayed that God would heal him. After the service Father N. said jokingly "I wish all our parishioners could be so well behaved!" He healed beautifully and loves to play with the string toy every night as do his siblings Sinbad, Alley and Angel.

Leslie Smith
Chester, NY


Eight years ago, our son rescued a 7-month old mixed breed pup. We rushed her to the vet, who told us he had never seen such a terrible case of neglect. She should have weighed 40-45 pounds, and weighed 14 pounds. She was so emaciated she could not stand. He did not expect her to survive the weekend.

All weekend, we spoon fed her every 3 hours, kept her wrapped in a blanket to stay warm, and had to hold her up outside to do her "business."

Monday morning we took her back to the vet and he was amazed she had made it through the weekend. She grew stronger over the next several months, we had her spayed, vaccinations, ticks removed, and a tumor removed from the top of her head.

Now at 9, she is a healthy (well, slightly overweight) 60 pounds and brings joy to all around her. Our son is a long-haul trucker, and she has been cross country with him many times. When she is home with us, she likes nothing better than to be wrapped up in a blanket and cuddle by the fire.

Over the years we have had many rescue dogs, and they are the most wonderful dogs in the world.

Olympia, WA

A Cry For Help

Her eyes infected and merely skin covering bone, my Bobcat hybrid was near death, abandoned and left to die in temperatures she was barely able to endure when she found me. She literally cried out for help.

On my way to the mini mart behind the school where I took Tai Chi, I heard a soft mew. At that time I had a yard full of "throw aways" I fed and thought I heard cats everywhere. Without my glasses, I thought I was imagining her cry.

On my way back, she cried for me again and this time I began a search for the sound. It was then I found her, sitting on top of a car hood (the building behind the school was an auto body shop), eyes so infected they were closed (to this day she has vision problems), and her bones protruding through the skin.

Everyone at the school made a fuss over her, giving her food and milk, and I cleaned out her eyes.

During class, she wandered around. One of the guys said, "So, Andrea, what are you going to name your cat?" "She's not mine," I answered. "My husband said 'no more'."

As she walked to each person, they petted and spoke to her and when she came to me, I did the same and she mewed loudly and yowled.

My classmate said, "Not your cat huh?" She came home with me and I named her Wah Lum after the type of Tai Chi I was taking and to this day is MY baby.

I am an author and due to her "show off" personality, have written two stories about her. Being half Bobcat (which I suspect is why she was abandoned) she is full of fire!

Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc
Tampa, FL

SouthPaw Rescue takes in Poms from the Sparta,TN Mill Raid

On February 15, 2009, 12 Pomeranians rescued from the Sparta puppy mill raid were transferred by the ASPCA to South Paw Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, Inc. in Gainesboro, TN...

Their first full day of freedom is bath day. They all got bathed, brushed, nails cut, and knots and matts cut off. They feel MUCH better! And now, they need names!

We spent the day getting to know all the dogs. There were lots of firsts for them today.... they heard the phone ring, they saw and heard a tv, saw an oven in use, etc. All the little things we take for granted that mill dogs have never experienced.

For more of the story and to watch the progress of the Poms from mill to rescue to eventually adoptive homes. Please go to the website

South Paw Animal Rescue and Sanctuary is a small 501c3 non-profit animal rescue founded in 2007. We are an all volunteer organization dedicated to rescuing puppy mill, abandoned, and unwanted small animals. Our volunteers are located throughout the United States and Canada. We are funded soley by charitable donations with 100% going directly to the care and medical needs of the animals we rescue.

Watkins Glen, NY

Happy Tails

Meet Claire, a Chihuahua mix that was taken to the shelter at 6 weeks old. My daughter saw her the day after she was dropped off. "Merry Christmas mom, now you have your own baby dog so you can quit borrowing mine." Our rescued Setter had died last year and I was needing to fill a big void. We have 3 other rescues and Claire makes 4, plus on occasion the granddog. Claire just finished the AKC S.T.A.R. puppy program offered at our local obedience club. She is such a joy to have and we can't wait to take her camping and hiking this summer.

Pam Allen
Anderson, IN

The Brothers

Poppa & Rocky were both rescued from an animal shelter on Christmas Eve. My brother gave us Poppa and he kept Rocky. Poppa was so sick when we first brought him home. He weighed 1 pound and was the sweetest baby in the world. We did everything possible to save him and spent hours in the emergency room. He is now a healthy boy! I always tell my brother that Poppa is the gift that keeps on giving! We are so lucky to have such an incredible cat! He is the king of our CATsle!

new york, NY

Ringo the Circus Dog

My favorite kind of dog is one that looks like it was pulled through the bushes backwards, if you can picture that. You know the type, hair sticking out in all directions all over it's body.

It was time for a new dog. I wanted a scruffy mixed breed. I searched on Petfinder and found him. His name was Scruffy.

He was found wandering around a stable. The woman coaxed him into one of the stalls. He was a very nice boy, just very afraid. He had a terrible skin problem and was loaded with fleas and ticks. She was associated with a rescue group and they got him to a vet where it was discovered that he was positive for heartworms. With great veterinary care, this fabulous rescue group got rid of his parasites, had his skin treated, neutered him and treated his heartworms.

I met Scruffy when he was almost finished with his heartworm treatment. I drove 45 minutes to his foster home and when he was brought out, he wasn't shy at all but very excited. He came right over and sat on my feet as if to say: "OK lady, you're mine!"

I took him home a week later only to discover that he was afraid of quick hand movements and foot movements. That led me to believe that perhaps a previous owner may have hit him and that was why he had been so afraid. After a short time, he lost his fear.

We soon learned that he is extremely quick to learn tricks and smiles and bows on command! He should be in a circus or in the movies! I have had him for over 3 years now and he is truly the best dog I've ever had.

Sheryl Roberts
Penns Grove, NJ

Stitch and Lilo--The story continues!

Our two much loved Siberians ('Laika' & 'Raki') crossed over the rainbow bridge late last year, so we decided to search for two rescue Siberians to repopulate our family pack. We found two wonderful candidates in 'Stitch' (a 2 year old red & white male) and 'Lilo' (a 4 year old B&W female) at NorCal Sled Dog Rescue (Northern California). If you'll recall the recent Walt Disney animated movie 'Stitch and Lilo', you'll remember that 'Stitch' was a dog-like alien creature created to destroy things and 'Lilo' was a sweet little Hawaiian girl who ultimately teaches 'Stitch' about family, love, and sharing. Our two new Siberians couldn't have been better named, believe me, as Stitch came to us with severe behavioral problems that included destructive chewing, insecurity, and generally excessive hyperactivity (in other words, a perfect canine 'Stitch'!). Lilo, on the other hand is a sweet little girl whose only problem is that she wants to be the alpha dog in the family (a role Stitch mightily contests). We've had them for several months now and it has been a challenge dealing with their behavioral glitches, but they are both wonderful, loving, and beautiful Siberians whom we have grown to love dearly. Although it has taken hunks out of us 'retraining' them and correcting the previous behavioral problems their former negligent owners allowed to develop, I am happy to say that they have indeed found their new 'forever home' with us. We are old hands with Siberians, having had the breed around us for more than 20 years, so we are better able to deal with behavioral problems than most. Frankly, I cannot conceive of a life without two beautiful Siberian Huskies in our home to lavish us with kisses and to keep our feet warm in frosty winters.

Sacramento, CA
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